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(Neb)-Chadron Council And School Board Both Meeting Tonight

By: John Axtell Posted at: 09/09/2019 04:18 PM
CHADRON -  The Chadron School Board and City Council are both meeting tonight with final action on the budget and property taxes for the coming year headlining the agendas. Both have published those figures.

      The school board starts first, holding the public hearings on the budget and the tax request at 5:30 and 5:35 respectively, with the regular board meeting getting underway at 5:40 although the public hearings will be extended if individuals wish to testify.

      The district budget is just over $18-million dollars with the property tax rate remaining at the maximum $1.05 per hundred dollars of assessed value, including 5-cents for the special building fund.

   Superintendent Dr Caroline Winchester is worried that the special building fund, one of the published pieces of the budget, might be misleading to people because it shows a 308% increase from the current year.

      Winchester says the line item reflects the decision to buyout the district's HVAC performance contract with Johnson Controls and replace it with lease-buy option, which will formally be approved tonight as well.

     Buying out the contract involves moving a million dollars into that fund and then taking it out to make the payment. The money will be borrowed with a 7-year repayment, but will have an overall $150,000 savings for the district.

    The city council meeting, a week later than usual because of Labor Day, starts at 6:00. The council has already had the first two readings of the ordinances for the $15.4-million dollar budget, the property tax request, and the city fee ordinance.

     There will be a slight change in them from the second reading because a proposed $5 participation fee for members of organized sports groups using city facilities has been dropped.

    Representatives of youth soccer, swimming, and baseball all objected to the fee at the second reading, leading the council to ask City Manager Greg Yanker to take a second look at it.

      Yanker said this morning on Sound Off that he decided to take another approach to the issue, dropping the fee and working with the groups to revamp their future contracts with the city to clarify what the city provides and what the groups provide in regard to field or facility prep.

     The various sports groups complained in their 2nd-reading testimony that they felt the kids in their programs were being asked to pay for nothing since the city is already providing the basic services for venues while the groups themselves have been responsible for such things as marking fields.


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